Sometimes you see a job listing and you know instantly that you are a great fit for the position. All your experience has perfectly prepared you to step right in to this new role and contribute immediately. Even if this is true, however, it only matters if the hiring manager can see how your qualifications match the job description. Follow these steps to show off your qualifications to your best advantage.
Analyze the Job Description
Read the job description very carefully. Weed out the extraneous language that might be camouflaging what the employer is really looking for. Winnow down the job description, rewriting it yourself until you are left with just a list of responsibilities and qualifications. Look for clues as to what makes this company's listing different from similar positions with other companies, as those may help you understand what kind of "fit" the company is looking for.
Make a One-to-One Match Diagram
List the qualifications you've pulled out of the job description. Next, take your own qualifications and write them down next to that list. Look for as many one-to-one matches as possible. Take the time to write down all the ways in which you meet the qualifications as well as the achievements that demonstrate how you would succeed in that role.
Look for Keywords
Many companies now use software to search resumes and cover letters for keywords, immediately eliminating those that do not have them. Take a look at that list of qualifications you compiled from the job description, analyzing it as if it were an actual candidate's resume. Note all the keywords you find in the description. Pay particular attention to verbs such as market, achieve, execute, solve, negotiate and train.
Rewrite Your Resume
Go back through your resume and rewrite it to match the job description. Think of the description as a blueprint that can help you design the perfect resume for the role. Change the language of your resume to use the same verbs and keywords you picked up in your analysis. When possible, re-order the elements of your resume to match the order in which the corresponding items appear in the listing. Get rid of any "career objective" section in your resume and replace it with a bullet-point list of qualifications that the prospective employer is likely to appreciate.
Analyzing a job posting gives you the best possible insight on how to highlight your own experience in a way that makes an employer realize how valuable you can be to his company. Don't wait for an interview that may never come to point out what a great fit you are for the position you're seeking. Start with a targeted rewrite of your resume to get your foot in the proverbial door.
Photo courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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